Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Signficance of Dates

July 19 is the date of Julia's baptism. It is also the 5 year anniversary of Rich's death (Tara's stepfather). I forgot about it until Bonnie mentioned it a few weeks ago.

June 18, 2005 is our wedding date. It also was the 10 year anniversary of aunt Judy's death (Bonnie's sister). It seems positive and hopeful to celebrate a commitment and re-frame the meaning of that date. I don't know if my cousins feel that way about our wedding, but they attended the ceremony and reception.

I'm excited about Julia's baptism, have been for weeks.

Then we met with Judi, the pastor at my church, on Monday, and I got even more excited. We discussed the meaning and significance and why it is important for Julia to be baptized. It was really interesting talking with her and listening to Jai's reflections, too, on what it all means.
One of the major considerations for me is the community aspect, the witness and support of the congregation. We cannot raise Julia alone. We realized that in February in particular when members brought us food as we worked to get Julia to gain weight. Edgehill UMC is one part of our village.

I love water, don't know why, probably because it makes you clean. : )
I like the sound water makes - running in the shower/tub, rain on the roof, splashing in the pool.
I really enjoy when people get baptized.

Judi described various methods of the baptismal water:
Sprinkling
Pouring
Immersion

Judi recommended we make a baptism book in order to have a visual reminder of this event. We can look at the book and photos and talk about what happened on that day. We also will have her baptism candle which we'll light every year on July 19. I'm excited about that too!

Then over the next day or so, I spoke with Mike, one of her godfathers, about some concerns Chad, the other godfather, might have about being appropriate given his feelings about religion. Susie is Julia's godmother. After asking Chad & Mike & Susie to be Julia's godparents, I didn't give it much more thought. Susie is Julia's aunt; Mike & Chad are her uncles. They are our very good friends, Mike was one of Jai's attendants in our wedding. They are important to us and therefore to Julia and we value them as supportive people in her life. They are perfect candidates for the role. However, I am grateful for these opportunities to reflect and consider what it all means.

Julia reminds us daily of that attention to details. The joy of discovery, it's all new to her.
We adults seem to forget along the way, we get busy, and "don't stop & smell the flowers."
Everything is new to Julia so we know that is part of it, but it is so genuine. Recently she was studying her sun hat, turning it one way, then the other, then inside and outside. Back & forth, over & over again. Cute to watch. Julia was so fascinated with it.

I cannot believe I am referencing the TV show "Army Wives" which sometimes I'm surprised I watch. However, I like it. Anyway, in a recent episode, a couple with a young baby close to Julia's age is preparing to baptize their daughter and they are trying to find the right place. The wife character is similar to Jai in terms of not being someone who regularly attends church; the husband character does. The conversation they have with the pastor of the congregation where they ultimately decide to have the dedication reminds me of our conversation with Judi as well as some of our feelings about the experience. Community is a huge part of it.

My dad, step-mother, brother and sisters who live in North Carolina will be here. Bonnie & Buddy will be here. Hopefully my brother, Joel, and nephew, LJ, will be here. Some of my childhood friends will be present. It is a celebration of this new life and a public commitment from us all.

I cannot wait! : )